Florida gov expected to sign bill within days requiring felons to pay court fees before voting: report

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisSaudi officer ripped US support of Israel in tweet before naval base shooting: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant MORE (R) is expected to sign a bill within days that would require ex-felons to pay off restitution, court fees and fines before registering to vote, according to Bloomberg News

Nearly two-thirds of voters backed an amendment to the state’s constitution in November to restore voter registration rights to about 1.4 million ex-convicts in the Sunshine State. However, Republican lawmakers passed a bill requiring the payments in a move critics say is intended to blunt Amendment 4’s impact.

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“There’s just no way to get around the fact that the Legislature did everything it could to undermine Amendment 4,” Micah Kubic, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, told Bloomberg News. “I don’t think it’s consistent with the will of the voters, and it’s not consistent with the text of Amendment 4.”

DeSantis’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Prior to the amendment’s passage, Florida was one of only three states, along with Kentucky and Iowa, that permanently barred ex-convicts from registering to vote without first going through a lengthy clemency process. The amendment eases the path to registration for all ex-convicts except for those convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

Democrats were hoping that a large share of the 1.4 million new voters would back their candidates, giving the party a boon in the nation’s largest swing state.

Advocacy groups have floated the idea of suing the state should DeSantis sign the bill requiring the court payments prior to voter registration.